100 Americans Making Constitutional History: A Biographical History presents 100 profiles of the key people behind some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases. Edited by Melvin I. Urofsky, a respected constitutional historian, each 2,000-word profile delves into the social and political context behind landmark Court decisions. For example, while a case like Brown v. Board of Education is about an important idea—the equal protection of the law—at its heart it is the story of a little girl, Linda Brown, who wanted to go to a decent school near her home. The outcome is accessible and objective “stories” about the individuals—heroes and scoundrels—who fought their way to constitutional history.

L. B. Sullivan

L. B. Sullivan

Alabama in the 1960s

“A Famous Racist and Hater of Black People”

New York Times v. Sullivan

376 U.S. 254 (1964)

Lester Bruce Sullivan (1921–1977), better known by the initials L. B., was a highly visible public official and segregationist in Alabama. He was born March 5, 1921, in Records, Kentucky, the son of Henry and Pauline Sullivan. His father was a farmer and a sheriff, and his mother was a schoolteacher. He grew up in Vanceburg, Kentucky, and graduated in 1937 from Lewis County High School. He went to work with his brother, first in a drugstore and then in the construction business. In 1941 Sullivan joined the Army Air Corps, leaving the service at the end of World War II as a staff ...

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